MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — WVU President Gordon Gee didn’t hesitate to joke at his own expense Thursday during a call on MetroNews “Talkline” with Hoppy Kercheval to provide an update on his status after an unexpected heart operation.

Initially, Gee fainted at the Pittsburgh International Airport after returning from a 10-day trip to see his grandchildren.

“I think that that was probably the causing of the activity,” Gee said, laughing. “After you spend ten days, you probably need to spend another ten days in the hospital recovering.”

“I just fell flat on my face. I didn’t slip and fall. I actually fainted.”

Gee described it as something of a bloody affair, though a friendly Ohio State alumni — whose diploma has Gee’s signature on it — immediately came to his assistance.

“He administered the appropriate remedies for me,” Gee said. “I had blood flowing all over the place.”

It wasn’t the fall that kept Gee out of work, though. Doctors found the WVU President, now in his fifth year back in Morgantown, had minimal scarring around his heart, which could have caused a momentary tachycardia event. As a precaution, Dr. Gee had an internal defibrillator implanted last Friday.

“It’s what Bob Huggins has,” he said. “It’s the newest and greatest device. So, if you ever have a little heart palpitation or whatever, it shocks you right out of it.”

Still in good spirits, Gee praised the staff at WVU Medicine’s Heart and Vascular Institute.

“I’m good for another 500,000 miles until I get an oil change again,” Gee joked. “I feel very good. I’ll be up and running before you know it.”

He did take a meeting Thursday, and is expected to return to a lighter schedule at work next week.

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